Sen. Bernie Sanders calls for "cultural revolution" over treatment of women

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, says the U.S. needs a "cultural revolution" to change the way women are treated, reiterating his call for the resignation of Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, over new sexual misconduct allegations. He spoke about why he now believes Franken should step down on "CBS This Morning" on Thursday.

Sanders joined the chorus of more than 30 lawmakers calling for Franken to resign from the Senate after previously saying it should be up to the people of Minnesota to decide his fate. Asked about his change of heart, Sanders said, "I think the additional evidence that came forward but I think what we have got to recognize as a nation, that this is a problem impacting not only high profile men."

"What I worry about right now as I speak is that in restaurants, in offices all over this country where you have bosses that are not famous, there is harassment, women are being intimidated, and we need a cultural revolution in this country," he said.

Sanders said the current national conversation should include a "woman's right to control her own body," saying that the U.S. has "a lot of work to do to protect women's equality in this country."

When pressed on the possibility of Alabama Judge Roy Moore joining the Senate amid numerous allegations of sexual misconduct against minors, Sanders delivered a stern warning to President Trump instead.

"Let me take it a little step further. We have a president of the United States who acknowledged on a tape -- widely seen all over this country -- that he assaulted women," Sanders said. "So I would hope that maybe the president of the United States might pay attention to what's going on and also think about resigning."

Meanwhile, as the federal government faces a potential shutdown, Sanders said the Republicans would be to blame -- not Democrats, as Mr. Trump has suggested.

"It's certainly not going to be Democrats' fault. Let us all remember, last I heard Republicans control the U.S. Senate, Republicans control the U.S. House, and what is going on right now is Republicans want huge increases for military spending, but they don't want to provide another nickel to make sure we can lower student loans in this country, that we can deal with the crisis of pensions in this country," he said.

He added, "We have enormous issues we have got to deal with, and instead of giving tax breaks to billionaires, maybe it's time the Republican Party started looking at the needs of the middle class and the working class of this country."

House leaders have planned a Thursday vote on a bill that would keep federal agencies functioning through December 22 and Senate approval was expected to follow.

  • Emily Tillett

    Emily Tillett is a politics reporter and video editor for CBS News Digital